Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >
Apr 3, 2009 07:44 AM

MSP: Ketsana's Replacement

My bad memory is driving me mad.

I'm meeting a former co-worker tomorrow for lunch, and am considering going to the old Ketsana's spot (7545 Lyndale Ave S), for nostalgia's sake. But I can't remember the name of the new place...other than that it starts with an N. Or maybe an A. (You see my problem.) Googling the address just pops up Ketsana listings.

So. Does anyone know the name of the restaurant? And, does anyone have any thoughts about whether it's worthwhile, disregarding the nostalgia factor?
My alternative site is Kabobs.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's called Naviya's Calico Elephant. It's the sister restauran to Naviya's of Grand Marais on Penn, and it's cheaper than the Penn location. It's pretty good, but maybe not quite as good at Ketsana's was. They have pretty good lunch specials and their spring rolls are good. But then again, the service is a lot better than Ketsana's was. I've eaten there a couple times and liked it overall. The last time I was there I got a takeout menu which had the URL for their online menu but I can't seem to find it now and it's nothing obvious. Let me know what you think.

    1. Sorry, I had the spelling wrong, it's Naviya's Kalico Elephant. And I found the URL.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bobannon

        Well, that name rolls trippingly off the tongue.

        Hey, they have papaya salad.

        1. This place has changed hands again. It is now called Joy's Pataya Thai. First we tried to go to Naviya's on Penn, but something is going on there. It appears closed. Then we went down to Kalico Elephant and it was under new ownership. We ordered dinner, and we liked it. Got Pad Thai and Chicken Panang Curry to go. Both had nice heat levels (for a heat baby like myself ALMOST too hot but still flavorful), and the pad thai was not cloyingly sweet like it can be sometimes. Each dish was 10.50. The new owners (I assume) were nice as well.

          10 Replies
          1. re: puddin head

            Wife and I went on Sunday. The place looks great. The service is exceedingly friendly, but that's par for the course for a new Asian joint.

            We split the sausage app. Wrapped in fried tofu skin, and served with fish sauce, it's like the most indulgent Vietnamese egg roll you'll ever eat. We both really liked it.

            We also split the Pad See Ew. For me, this dish is all about the nooks and crannies (egg, bok choy etc..), which serve to absorb the flavor, and this dish had plenty of nooks and crannies. A little bit of heat too, which is uncommon (but entirely appropriate) for this dish.

            All in all, a good meal, though I haven't tested out some of my favorites (on a sour note, the Papaya Salad is $12.50 for some reason).

            1. re: kevin47

              Joy is a former cook from Mango Thai and briefly Bangkok Thai Deli. She buys her Tod Mun (fish cakes), and many other items on her menu wholesale from Bangkok Thai Deli and presents it as her own cooking, which it is not.

              We tried the place once shortly after it opened and found all the dishes oppressively salty. Her plate presentations are lovely. And exact reproductions of what she learned at Mango Thai and Bangkok Deli.

              Sorry to sound so shrill.



              1. re: HuaGung

                HuaGung - So are you saying that if she wasn't passing off certain menu items as her own and gave BTD their due, you would recommend in lieu of driving all the way to St Paul if you live in S. Mpls/Edina/Bloomington/Richfield?

                I know you have the utmost respect for BTD. Its just a long way to go for some.

                For the record, I've been to BTD 4 times for lunch and its awesome.

                1. re: MayrMN

                  Not really. I don't recommend it. But I'm fussy.

                  The menu items not purchased from others were really nasty for us. The Tom Yum was bad bad bad and served cold, which... ah never mind. I have to let this stuff go.

                  Didn't like the place, can't recommend it, don't much care for the owner's methods. Nuff said.



            2. re: puddin head

              I had lunch there a few weeks ago and thought it was just OK. I had chicken and vegatables. Lots of great fresh veggies, but the chicken was not well butchered and I had several bone chips in my food.

              I understand that the previous owners were having some VISA issues.

              1. re: AnnyM

                you know, since you mention it, neither of us were fond of the chicken either. It was a little odd, though all white meat. We decided next time to get shrimp or tofu. The rest of the flavors were quite good to me. I didn't find anything overly salty.

                1. re: puddin head

                  The chicken was blah on our visit, though that has always been my experience at Thai restaurants. My wife likes it. I pick around it.

                  Our food was not at all too salty, though. The entree I got at BTD was a salt bomb. I suspect MayrMN has it right. If you are in the area, this is a solid solution. It's unlikely to become anyone's go-to spot.

              2. re: puddin head

                I used to go to Ketsana's and always enjoyed it. My wife and I drove by today at lunch to see what was in its place and found it open as "Joy's Pattaya Thai Restaurant". (We never ate there went it was Kalico Elephant.)

                The place was really quiet but were pleased with our meal. We had the Angel Wings (stuffed chicken wings.). They were a bit different from we have received at Ketsana's or Taste of Thialand in that they had a crispy coating . They were nicely fried and tasty. For entrees my wife at her normal Pad Thai chcken and I went with my standard choice of Red curry roast duck..

                Both dishes were very good and presented very nicely. The Pad Thai was serverd over a banana leaf. The curry had a very generous portion of duck breast. All that being said prices were probably a bit higher then other Thai restaurants we have been too.

                Someday they will have a website at . Right now it will just get you the location and phone number but that is about it.

                1. re: dalewest

                  Is it back to being a Kalico Elephant? Is this place just destined to keep changing names? What is the deal? In it's current form is it good?

                  1. re: princebaal

                    It's Joy's Pattaya Restaurant if I am not mistaken. See the MSP:Thai Restaurants thread. I wrote about it.